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There are two Warlock twins, Boris and Doris, who have made a deal with a celestial entity to cleanse the evil from the world. In one of the catacombs they are exploring they encounter a skeleton. Boris, with the higher initiative roll, reacts to the skeleton first and moves to the skeleton's left while preparing to fire an eldritch blast (using the Ready action) using the Repelling Blast invocation at the moment that his sister uses eldritch blast; this is intended as a way to apply a combo attack.

Doris remembers that skeletons are particularly weak to being crushed, so she gets an idea moving to the right side of the skeleton and firing an eldritch blast, also with repelling blast invocation, thinking that when she and her brother fire at the same time the skeleton will be crushed due to the opposed push by two Repelling Blast-empowered eldritch blasts.

For the sake of visualisation:

D--S--B

Which of these three possibilities happen?

  1. The skeleton moves to Boris's side due to the repelling blast and gets an attack of opportunity on Boris when he casts eldritch blast.
  2. The skeleton simply keeps its position.
  3. The skeleton takes damage as if it fell 20 feet due to the crushing force. (With 10 feet of a push from either side)
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The skeleton may be moved twice; no falling damage

The skeleton moves twice if each eldritch blast rolls "to hit" successfully. This would leave the skeleton in its original position at the end of Doris' turn (possibly destroyed). It is worth noting that the trigger to Boris' attack is Doris' attack, so Doris' turn is "when it all happens."

When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right after the trigger finishes or ignore the trigger. (Ready Action, Basic Rules, p. 75)

  1. There is no opportunity attack made on Boris. Boris didn't move out of the skeleton's reach. (This isn't 3.x edition)

    If you leave a hostile creature’s reach during your move, you provoke an opportunity attack (Basic Rules, p. 73)

  2. Doris' blast moves the skeleton one way (on a hit) and then Boris' blast moves it back the other way (on a hit).

    If either Boris or Doris miss, the skeleton moves only in one direction. If they both miss, hilarity ensues and the skeleton keeps on grinning.

  3. There is no fall, and thus no falling damage, for being moved laterally.

    A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer. At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6. (Basic Rules, p. 68)

    The combined damage of two eldritch blasts (2d10) may kill the skeleton anyway, so it would be fun to narrate it as being shattered by the opposed effects if the damage is enough to destroy it.

Rule of Cool

If both eldritch blasts hit, the DM can invoke the rule of cool and apply some bludgeoning damage to the skeleton. Even though, by the way action/ready action works, Doris' blast would likely hit first1 -- maybe it takes a DC 16 Dexterity check to get the timing just right? -- the DM rewarding the two players for cool innovation is consistent with Rules As Fun.


1 If using the optional rule in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, it could be simultaneous, if Doris so chooses:

If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table - whether player or DM - who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. For example, if two effects occur at the end of a player character's turn, the player decides which of the two effects happens first.

Caveat to the answer: this answer presumes from the language of the question that the eldritch blast was a single blast cast by each Warlock. I think the assumption is valid since a skeleton won't typically be a threat to level 5 and above PCs, and the intended effect of multiple blasts (and thus multiple potential repelling blast effects) was not included in the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth explicitly noting that Maiko is conflating 3rd edition rules with 5e here, since in 3e casting a spell next to a threat would provoke an AoO. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Dec 11 '18 at 20:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like that you mentioned the flavoring of him being shattered. You can do cool things within the rules of the game, by narrating well like you mentioned. \$\endgroup\$ – Austin Donley Dec 11 '18 at 20:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Done as suggested \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Dec 11 '18 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would however like to add one "physics" aspect to this: being pushed back 10 feet isnt as strong a force as falling 10 feet. Still, if the DM applied some crush damage as a rule of cool for a unique setup wouldnt ruffle my feathers. P.s. Sorry, i keep pressing enter by accident \$\endgroup\$ – Honore Shadeshield Dec 14 '18 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HonoreShadeshield and that would be? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Dec 14 '18 at 19:53
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Two Eldritch Blasts will not combine to do extra damage.

No Opportunity Attacks

None for the characters

Being pushed by repelling blasts does not provoke opportunity attacks:

You also don't provoke an opportunity attack when you teleport or when someone or something moves you without using your movement, action, or reaction. For example, you don't provoke an opportunity attack if an explosion hurls you out of a foe's reach or if gravity causes you to fall past an enemy.

None for the skeleton

Attacks of Opportunity are triggered when an enemy moves out of your reach. Not when you are moved out of the enemy's reach.

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach.

No Crushing Damage

Spells do what they say they do. Both blasts do the damage and effect they would normally do. Nothing in their description affords extra damage due to crushing. There aren't any rules regarding crushing damage from being pushed. Damage resulting from such things need to be specified in the description of the ability or effect that does the damage.

Skeleton is pushed one way then the other

In the example posted, the order the skeleton is pushed follows the initiative order. In the event that one or both blasts were triggered "at the same time" due to a held action, the person who's turn it is decides the order in which the effects occur.

Per Xanathar's Guide to Everything:

If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table - whether player or DM - who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. For example, if two effects occur at the end of a player character's turn, the player decides which of the two effects happens first.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The question doesn't presume that the skeleton is provoking an opportunity attack because of its movement - it is (mistakenly) assuming that the skeleton will get to make an opportunity attack on the warlock, because it will now be next to him when he is casting his spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Dec 11 '18 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer thanks. I've updated to make that clear. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Dec 11 '18 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Per that XGtE quote, wouldn't Doris's player choose the order of effects, since it happened on her turn? \$\endgroup\$ – John Montgomery Dec 11 '18 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnMontgomery good catch. I've been reading that incorrectly this whole time! \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Dec 11 '18 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually those attacks do not seem simultaneous effects. The description of Ready Action states: "When the Trigger occurs, you can [...] take your reaction right after the trigger finishes" The trigger is the attack so the second Eldrich Blast goes of just after the first Eldrich Blast is resolved. The effects are applied in reversed initiative order. \$\endgroup\$ – fabian Dec 12 '18 at 0:32
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By RAW, nothing of the sort happens. This is ok, because you aren't using the cantrips as written; instead, you are trying to stunt.

Stunts are adjudicated by the DM in every version of D&D.

Here

  1. Your trick is specific to the target (a creature vulnerable to Bludgeoning damage)

  2. Your trick requires non-trivial positioning (each of you on either side of your target, making a ranged attack; like flanking)

  3. Your trick uses nothing in the environment.

  4. Your trick is repeatable otherwise.

A DM might offer advantage, or change the damage type of the blasts to Bludgeoning if both hit (while losing the push), or both. Or neither.

Stunting has a long history in D&D and RPGs in general. There are no rules for stunting in 5e other than "ask your DM". The prior version of D&D, 4e, had a table on page 42 to help the DM determine what effect a creative stunt should have; 5e didn't duplicate that table.

But it does recommend giving advantage in circumstances not otherwise covered.

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By the rules as written: No.

Personally though, if two players went through the effort of setting themselves on either side of an enemy, and one was willing to risk wasting her turn on a readied action, with the trigger being that she'd shoot the enemy sandwiched between them on a hit -- I'd give them the extra damage. Ten feet from one, ten feet from the other, twenty feet of falling damage, +2d6.

Frankly it isn't much of a bonus and since there's a significant chance of having a player waste their action, why not? It's a fun way to role play force damage. Heck, if one player said "I'm shooting low," and the other said "I'm shooting high," I'd let them flip a medium sized monster head over heels.

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4. None of the Above (But 1 & 2 are partly correct)

Strictly speaking, in 5th edition D&D, nothing is simultaneous. If two events are simultaneous, they'll be resolved in some kind of order, as specified by

  • the DM, or
  • the affected Player, or
  • the spell's rules

... Depending on the circumstances.

In this situation, if both Boris and Doris both attempt to cast Eldritch Blast on their target at the same time, using Readied Actions, the DM will need to decide which happens first. A common way for the DM to rule is to use their previously decided initiative order to determine their order of execution.

The skeleton will be in the same position (if both blasts resolve with the same number of hits)

The skeleton is getting pushed in someone's direction first before being pushed in the other direction, but assuming both blasts hit (the same number of times), the skeleton will first be pushed in one direction, then back to its original position.

No Attacks of Opportunity

Attacks of Opportunity occur only on voluntary movement, not involuntary movement. Pushing a skeleton around will trigger Attacks of Opportunity for neither player, nor the skeleton itself, nor any other creatures that might be within melee range of any of the skeleton's positions.

No Damage (other than the normal damage dealt by Eldritch Blast)

Spells only do what they say they do, so without Eldritch Blast or Repelling Blast saying anything about their ability to deal damage through their movement, this "crushing effect" cannot cause damage to the skeleton. A permissive DM might choose to rule that damage happens, but that would not be RAW.

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